By Ali Rodriguez 
 
Bosses tend to be busy people; multiple priorities, pressing deadlines, and staff to lead. It can be overwhelming at times, and there are certain employees who rise to the occasion to make themselves indispensable to their supervisor and team. I want to share a story about one of my staff members who has done this successfully, so much so that when she graduated recently I was concerned about who would pick up the slack! 

Consider this when you begin an internship, part-time position, or full-time job: employees who leave a legacy work hard and produce results, but are also invaluable because of their willingness to be a team player. This may seem obvious to some, but it is incredibly important. On that first day, when you jump out of bed and report to the job, you are thrilled to be there. Take the first day or week to absorb the office culture, get a sense of your responsibilities, and ask many questions. I recommend that one of those questions be: “What can I do to help?” 
You may be thinking “They will ask me if they need help,” but remember that supervisors’ work days are demanding. They may have discussed your career interests and helped you to set goals based on the job description. Now, they may assume that you are all set. But how else can you step up and offer assistance so you will be valued? Consider the important trends in your industry and at the workplace. How can you assist the boss in being more effective is his/her job? 
  1. Offer to help with projects that may not be glamorous. Often times, you learn more about the organization by doing these “fun” tasks. 
  2. Anticipate your boss’s needs. It takes time to get to know your supervisor and you will develop an ability to do this if you pay attention. 
  3. Show a passion for what you do. Enthusiasm is contagious, and it will be quickly noticed if you are enjoying your experience, even if it is not exactly what you plan to be doing for the rest of your career. 

For the past twelve years of working at the Toppel Career Center, one staff member in particular stands out to me as working incredibly hard and making herself indispensable. As a graduate assistant, she was responsible for helping students with resume critiques, presenting programs on interviewing and other career-related topics, and marketing the Toppel Career Center’s programs and services. However, she always took it a step further and went above and beyond. For example, she stayed on as an assistant for the summer after her first year and worked at the front desk. While this was technically a junior position to what she had already done, but she did it with a smile every day. During that time, she also provided support for our Toppel Internship Program and we valued her attention to detail. In essence Thaimi Fina was really the person who could do it all. So, this blog kills two birds with one stone. I get to share my thoughts on the subject and give thanks to Thaimi, who earned a Master of Science in Education in Marriage and Family Therapy, and will be starting a position at the FIU Counseling Center. Thanks Thaimi and we will miss you!